Sunday, April 23, 2006

$50 worth of comedy

My wife's been tracking down her ancestors for quite some time. Indeed, when I met her in 2000 she was busy building genealogical trees. You'll remember that a couple of months ago we spent a Sunday driving through East Texas in an ultimately fruitless search for the graves of her great grandparents.

I can understand. I spent many hours in 1979 searching through ancient copies of the Melbourne Argus, the Melbourne Age and the Sun for the death notices for my fathers father. Never found a notice. Somehow I'd conceived the idea that he had died in 1937 so I concentrated on that year. About 12 years later, having found my Aunt again, I discovered that he died in 1942 and when I went back to the newspaper archives for October 1942 there he was. They gave the address where he died, somewhere on Mt Alexander Road (I no longer remember the exact address). I went to look, it was a florists by 1991. I imagine my grandfather coughing up the blood from the Tuberculosis that killed him in the flat above the shop.

I've never been able to trace em back farther than my grandparents but, to be honest, I haven't spent anywhere near the amount of time on the search that my wife has. She's traced em back 7 generations or so. You'd think that'd satisfy her but nope, she wants to trace back over the Atlantic and find the long forgotten peasants in the German countryside!

Somehow or other she also discovered a Scottish connection. She'd better not trace it forward from there to me! I don't really want to discover that my wife is a closer relation than I imagined! :-) That discovery, if it happened, would force me to reconsider how I feel about Morgan!

Sometime this week she recieved a book she'd ordered somewhere or other. Not a bound book from a production publisher; it's a laser printed spiral bound document carrying the grand title of 'A Documentary of Scotch(sic)-Irish ALEXANDER Family History' written by one Dr. Sarah Alexander-Coulton. The venerable doctor appears to live in Washington State and to be more than somewhat ignorant of how the Scottish refer to themselves!

My wife drew my attention to the book but was strangely reluctant to reveal the cost. Her exact words were 'you don't want to know'. WIth a challenge like that I surely did want to know! 50 bucks.

I can be as tight fisted with money as the best of them when it's in short supply (when isn't it?) and it's a choice between food and frippery. But if I can have a home theatre PC and Shelby and Morgan can have new computers and Andrew can have an iPod then surely my wife can have a book listing ancestors!

I have to say that I consider it 50 bucks well spent; it was worth every cent for the laughter it gave us both. Here's a sample of the Table of Contents.

The earliest of early records...

and so on...

you have to admire the presumption of someone who sets out to catalogue a list of ancestors and traces it all the way back to God!

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